Canon Printer Owners Get Official DRM Bypass Guide As Company Forced To Sell Chipless Toner

Hot potato: Printer manufacturers go to great (often annoying) efforts to enforce hardware DRM policies, which can be costly when it comes to replacing a toner cartridge or other components with “genuine” parts. Ironically, Canon has announced that it is unable to supply enough DRM chips for some of its printer cartridges due to the ongoing semiconductor crisis, and has issued a customer guide to highlight the features affected, as well as a guide to bypassing DRM warnings. …

A shortage of silicon has forced Canon to manufacture chipless toner cartridges for some of its business printers and multifunction devices (MFPs). V official announcement for customers in Australia, New Zealand and GermanyCanon shared the affected models consisting of multiple imageRunner printers and assured users that new non-chip cartridges would not negatively impact print quality. The company also reportedly informs customers via email.

The lack of a DRM chip in Canon toner cartridges means that even a genuine replacement will not be recognized by the printer. Consequently, users will see DRM-related warnings and hints, usually designed to be triggered in the event of a counterfeit part. This is why Canon’s official guidelines also include steps to bypass these messages. These alerts are only displayed for affected models with older firmware and will not appear on updated printers / MFPs.

Canon notes that owners of these chipless toner cartridges should be able to print normally. However, the toner level may not display correctly as “100%” or “OK” regardless of the remaining amount, or correctly as “0%” or “Empty” if the toner is empty. Canon says chipless cartridges will begin shipping in February, calling them a stopgap in the ongoing silicon crisis. The company expects to resume shipments of the chipped parts once normal supplies have been restored.

Given that these cartridges will ship without the DRM chip, they may also have a lower asking price than regular parts. On the other hand, that attribute itself, and the fact that Canon is likely to produce them in limited quantities, could lead to overpricing. Whatever happens, at least this time Canon is unlikely to face legal action.

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